Humanity's Crisis Is Systemic and Overwhelming—And the Only Way Out Is to Create Bold New Systems
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/ grynold
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It is easy to become numb to the realities we face. We hear near daily reporting of severe crises covering so many aspects of people’s lives, they even include our survival on the planet. Sometimes these crises seem larger than anything humans have ever seen before.
Rather than becoming numb, many in the human community see this as an opportunity to put forward big visions for a very different future.
On the agenda are transformative issues like:
- Creating a new democratic economy where people control their economic future at a time when big finance capitalism continues its collapse and the wealth divide has become so extreme that 85 people have wealth equal to 3.5 billion people.
- Rebuilding the ecology of the planet at a time when the oceans are threatened, when there is mass species die-off and as climate change threatens the planet in ways humans can barely imagine.
- Ending the extraction economy and shifting to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy when extraction has become extreme and risky with tar sands, fracking, mountain top removal and offshore oil drilling; and when the global impacts of the dangers of nuclear energy have become more evident as a result of Fukushima.
- Creating real privacy in our communications when technology allows the security state to conduct dragnet surveillance of virtually every communication by phone or the Internet on the planet.
- Ending war at a time when the war economy robs us of money needed for urgent necessities, when killing has become robotic and the deaths of civilians are hidden, when the most expensive and high tech military is unable to resolve conflict and when the war culture is infecting civilian police forces and youth culture.
These are a few examples of many fronts where people are urging dramatic new approaches. Other examples are free post-high school education, healthcare for all in a non-profit system, rebuilding cities with vacant housing turned into housing for those who need it, low cost or free mass transit replacing dependence on cars, a guaranteed national income as robots take the place of humans, global trade that puts people and the planet before profits for the wealthiest and recognizing the legal rights of indigenous peoples. The list is long. The crises we face are consequences of the global neoliberal economic system; therefore, systemic transformation is needed.
One of the beautiful things about these visions is that they are all achievable. Thousands are already working to make them a reality.
A Systemic Crisis Links Issues: Climate, Economy, Energy and Social Justice
As the problems grow in size, the response also needs to grow to confront them. One of the most urgent situations we face is the climate crisis. But, the climate crisis does not stand alone.
Recently at an organizing meeting in Chicago, Tim DeChristopher, a climate justice activist, said that one of the reasons progress has not been made in solving the climate crisis is that it was relegated to the realm of being an environmental issue. In reality, the climate crisis affects every area of our lives from food and water security to health to jobs and housing and, of course, energy and the environment.
At the meeting, activists from around the country who work on a broad range of issues joined together to start organizing a Global Climate Convergence. Another organizer, Deneicha Powell describes it as “a new education and direct action campaign uniting people in an intentional and organized way from a broad spectrum of grassroots social justice movements including anti-poverty, labor, peace, economic, racial, indigenous, immigrant and environmental justice groups as well as Medicare for All, sustainable food and natural health advocates and Occupy Wall Street networks among others.”